The Chrome.ahk tools allow you to use a backdoor in the Chrome browser to automate Web pages, but it’s not necessarily easy. I watched a couple of the videos for the Chrome.ahk tools and had a little trouble grasping what was going on. (I think the videos assumed a little higher level of knowledge than that of a beginner.) So, I spent some time working on it and produced some “getting started” blogs.
I am by no means an expert, I did get it working on a basic level. I document my experiences in the following blogs:
Automating Web Pages with AutoHotkey October 26, 2020
When Automating Tasks, Browser Web Pages Present Special Problems
Due to the nature of the Internet and the function of Web browsers, AutoHotkey users encounter particular issues when automating Web pages. AutoHotkey GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces) and many older Windows programs allow direct access to controls for automation. Newer apps tend to use ribbon menus which usually include accessible Alt+key shortcuts. However, Web browsers contain built-in protections which insulate users and make controlling operations more opaque. The average Web surfer only has access to what appears on the screen. Getting to the inner workings of Web browsers requires special tools.
Installing Chrome.ahk AutoHotkey Web Page Automation Tools November 2, 2020
Although It Comes with a Bit of a Learning Curve, the Chrome.ahk AutoHotkey Library Offers More Precise Source-Level Web Page Automation
In this blog, I introduce source-level Web page automation running a short test script after installing a set of Google Chrome AutoHotkey source-level Web page automation tools—Geekdude’s Chrome.ahk Library. I’ve set up a test page called “Jack’s AutoHotkey Chrome Test Page” for a quick trial of the tools. (When initially viewing the test Web page, you should see a set of three empty input fields: First Name, Last Name, and Street Address.) In this blog, I discuss how to install and set up the Chrome.ahk tools—then access the setup by running a sample AutoHotkey script that automatically fills in the three input fields:
Logging into online accounts ranks as one of the most common motivations for AutoHotkey users automating Web pages. Using screen-level AutoHotkey Web page automation can get cumbersome. For more reliable and accurate solutions consider source-level automation using the AutoHotkey Chrome.ahk Library of tools. However, before automating any Web forms with these functions, you need to accomplish two tasks:
- Analyze the Web page to identify the target HTML controls’ name or id (e.g. text fields, buttons, etc).
Moving Forward with AutoHotkey Chrome.ahk Tools November 23, 2020
My Last Three Blogs Offer a Basic Introduction to Installing and Running the Chrome.ahk Web Page Automation Tools—Find More Resources for these Useful Functions
In my earlier blogs, I posted a beginner’s introduction to GeekDude’s Chrome.ahk Web page automation tools.
- Installing Chrome.ahk AutoHotkey Web Page Automation Tools
- Using Chrome.ahk AutoHotkey Tools to Automatically Fill-in Web Forms (Part 1)
- Using Chrome.ahk AutoHotkey Tools to Automatically Fill-in Web Forms (Part 2)
I wrote those columns to bridge the gap between the novice-level user and the videos produced by GeekDude and Joe Glines—allowing me to take time for the techniques to ferment in my brainpan. While the videos provide excellent information, they assume a certain level of user experience. Hopefully, my blogs provide enough insight to enable new users to:
- Make a decision about whether they will continue to pursue these Web automation techniques.
The Chrome.ahk functions act as important additions to anyone’s AutoHotkey toolbox.